Commercial Industrial Finance announced this month it is rebranding as Republic Bank Finance following completion of a merger.
Louisville, Ky.-based Republic Bank acquired Cincinnati-based CBank and its St. Louis-based subsidiary Commercial Industrial Finance (CIF) on March 15, according to a Republic Bank release. CIF is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Bank.
“Our platform is really complementing Republic Bank,” Scott Hawkins, president of Republic Bank Finance, told Equipment Finance News. Hawkins was named president and chief executive of CIF in September 2014 and will continue as president at Republic Bank Finance, which plans to continue CIF’s increased sales performance and 20% growth during the first half of 2023.
“The larger banks are looking at credit and the impact of the bank failures, so they’re being watched by the [Federal Reserve] pretty hard right now, and they’re going to start tightening up just to make sure they got a AAA credit underwriting policy,” he said. “In our world, we’re aggressive. … Sales are up this year, so we’re happy.”
Republic Bank Finance will retain the top-down approach to equipment finance that CIF used for more than 20 years, Hawkins said.
“We finance capital equipment. … We create a finance program for the manufacturer and that manufacturer takes our finance program and pushes that down through their distribution,” he said. “When distributors are selling the manufacturer’s product, they also have a finance piece that goes along with it, and that’s us.”
Republic Bank Finance will benefit from an increase in resources following the merger, Hawkins said.
Republic “is a bigger bank, so we’re benefiting from their technology and we’re benefiting from their other departments, [such as] the marketing and technology,” he said. “We are benefiting from a larger organization’s resources.”
Republic Bank had $6.1 billion assets under management as of March 31, according to the company’s first-quarter earnings report, with the bank set to include Republic Bank Finance in its second-quarter earnings. CBank had total assets of about $271 million with total gross loans of about $214 million and total deposits of about$240 million, as of September 30, 2022, according to a Republic Bank release.